Big Brother and the Holding Company is an American rock band who gained notoriety for their collaboration with Janis Joplin.

Big Brother and the Holding Company is founded in San Francisco in 1965 by guitarist Peter Albin and singer Sam Andrew. They ask James Gurley as a guitarist, and after the original has been replaced by drummer David Getz, the band adopted its solid form. Big Brother shall enter into force for the first time in 1966. Although originally guitarist, bass guitarist Albin as functions.

In 1966, their promoter Chet Helmsasks, Janis Joplin as singer for the band. The band members are not initially see this and although Joplin be part of Big Brother is, in the beginning they often functions as a backup singer.

Late 1966 draws Big Brother at the then still unknown record label Mainstream Records. They bring for Mainstream just one album, Big Brother & the Holding Company(1967).

The big break of Big Brother gives you the performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. They get a contract with Columbia Records and is their manager Albert Grossman . Then the band has been touring through the United States, and in the summer of 1968 is their second album, Cheap Thrills. Although the recordings of the album very difficult is Cheap Thrills a success: the album is 8 weeks at number 1 in the United States.

Leave In november 1968 Joplin Big Brother to solo to proceed. Sam Andrew continues to work together with Joplin. Getz and Albin join Country Joe and the Fish. In the fall of 1969 the band back together and come three new musicians: Nick Gravenites (vocals), Dave Schallock (guitar) and Kathi McDonald (vocals). In 1970 is the first album of Big Brother without Joplin released: Be a Brother.

In 1971, the album How Hard It Is released, after which the band broke up in 1972.

In 1987 Big Brother comes back together. They make a number of albums, in changing occupation, and give regular concerts.


  • Big Brother & the Holding Company (1967)
  • Cheap Thrills (1968)
  • Be a Brother (1970)
  • How Hard It Is (1971)
  • Can't Go Home Again (1997)
  • Live at Winterland ' 68 (1998)
  • Do What You Love (1999)
  • Hold Me (2006)
  • The Lost Tapes (2008)
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